Peach Luffe: Honey EP

Although not conclusively, it is argued that the Black Death of the 1300s was a direct contributor to the Renaissance. The thought is that people being forced to stay at home for fear of death lead to one of the greatest creative periods in Europe’s history. While the Covid-19 pandemic might not have proven (at least yet) to be as creatively fertile as the Renaissance, it did delivery us things like Bo Burnham’s Inside, two Taylor Swift albums, and Peach Luffe‘s debut EP, Shimmer. Four years, with a full-length album and several other EPs under his belt, Peach Luffe returns with his Honey EP.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in Buffalo, and now based in Toronto, Peach Luffe (nee Jong Lee) is a classically trained violinist but as we find out on the Honey EP, he plays a bit of everything. In addition to violin, Lee showcases his skills on guitar, keyboard, bass, and vocals. His voice sounds somewhere between Coldplay‘s Chris Martin and a lounge singer. It would not be the ideal voice for all music genres but for the six love songs on Honey EP it works just fine.

“Quite Like You” bounces between light bossa nova verses and a big orchestral chorus. The noticeable tempo change between the two parts exhibits the loose restraints that Peach Luffe works within. While his songs are poppy, they don’t necessarily follow pop structure or formulas. “Say It Back” becomes softer and more stripped down for the first chorus, an unconventional choice, before ramping up the lushness on future choruses.

It doesn’t mean that Peach Luffe can’t work in traditional pop structures, it just isn’t always the most interesting. “Honeymoon” is Lee at his most Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino-era Arctic Monkeys. It is plodding and schmaltzy; with little surprises, it ends up being one of the least interesting tracks on the album.

Even when not very interesting, none of the songs on Honey EP are bad. Peach Luffe obviously has an ear for arrangements and more consequentially has the musicianship to bring them to life. While the lovey-dovey lyrical content might get tiresome over the course of a full-length album, Honey finds the sweet spot (pun intended) at six tracks under 20 minutes.

Rating: 7.0/10

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